I think I may have inadvertently called down the furies about myself with that last little diatribe about the not-listening, because Botany has come down with a nasty ear-based infection/lurgy/hacking-like-a- baby-seal pup illness.
She woke up on Thursday complaining grumpily about a sore ear, so I dosed her up with Calpol and waited an hour to see if she was any better. Within half an hour she was eating a bowl of cereal bigger than her head and demonstrating her new tapdancing steps with accompanying armflail whilst serending us with the "Good Ship Lollypop". Good to go, I thought, and packed her off. E. reported later that when he picked her up she was tired and fussy but relatively OK.
Friday was a similar story- rise, complain, dose, pack off. The morning passed by uneventfully. Botany's nursery was closing at noon anyway for staff training and when I arrived to collect her, she was asleep in sad little heap on a mat holding her left ear. I scooped her up, took her home as she wept piteously "Sorrrrre earrrr, mummy." When we got in, she went straight to her room, climbed in bed and slept for two hours, after which she got up and practiced wind sprints up and down the hallway.
Rinse, lather, repeat. The painkiller dose works its considerable magic for about three and half hours, sometimes slightly less after which she is reduced to a crumpled wreck. On Saturday night, she woke up after two hours and came wandering through, crying, in her little Tinkerbell nightie and was inconsolable until a hot water bottle was produced for her on which to place her sore ear. She stayed up until 11.30 pm, woke us all up for a round of boules at 5am then went back to bed for a bit before getting up at 8am for the day. Needless to say, day time naps have made a reappearance recently.
On Sunday night, she treated me to only two wake ups at the hours of 2.30am and 6am. The return to sleep deprivation is a cruel blow, indeed. I began to think we must surely be coming out of the worst of it, but on the advice of my ear-nose and throat specialist friend, I decided I would be phoning the doctor if it carried on one more day.
Yesterday she woke up with pain in her...right ear. Argh. Argh. I duly trotted her down to the GP, where we waited for 40 minutes in a hot, overcrowded waiting room. Botany sat limply on my lap, whimpering for dramatic effect and announced to the waiting public that she would like to "get out of here". Wouldn't we all, kiddo. The doctor prodded her with the stethoscope and looked in her ears. Viral, he suggested. Left ear has cleared up nicely, now just that pesky right ear. But here's a prescription for antibiotics just in case it drags on until Thursday. Oh, and no need to keep her home.
Right, I said, and we slushed home in the rain. Botany climbed back into her bed and went to sleep. I stared out the window, in a caffeine induced twitchery, thinking how lucky I am she's so rarely been ill these last three years and how badly it is sucking now that she is.
This morning's post Calpol treat was a dramatic re-enactment of "Tangled" with Botany alternating playing both Rapunzel and the hero boy guy man thing. After applauding vigorously, I shoehorned her into the car, threw some croissants in the backseat and off we went in high spirits. Upon our arrival at nursery, I explained to the staff about the whole ear thing and they looked at her, slightly horrified. Should she be in? Yes, well, the doctor said yes and besides she's FINNNNE. Botany took it upon herself to look droopy and peaky at that particular moment.
"And oh my god, I have work up to my eyeballs," I blurted before clamping my lips firmly down over my gob. You see, there's this little project I have going on, a looming scary deadline at the end of March with £250 million pounds at stake. But of course, my precious child's wellbeing comes first! So if she's unwell, call me, I told them.
So of course they did, when they hit that crucial three and a half hour post- painkiller mark and Botany reverted in "owee owwee" pathos "lump mode.
"Give her some stuff," I said "and if she's not building a replica of the Eiffel tower with popsicle sticks in half an hour, I'll be there." An hour later, they called to say she was...asleep.
And so it goes, this afternoon yet another a deja vu of the days before, with the dosing and the exuberant recovery and the slow decline into agony. I don't know what to do about the antibiotics- I am inclined to agree that it is viral, and so giving her that medication would have no effect. But what do I know. I'm almost ready to try it at this point
Plus, if the reliance on Calpol goes on until Thursday, I'm really screwed- her other nursery have a will-not medicate policy without prescription. In other words, they won't give her anything. Nada. They cheerily informed me of this when I tried to leave an emergency Calpol sachet the other day. Not even if I sign a consent for the giving of just 5ml of baby paracetemol. Of course, I am welcome to come round myself to give her the medication. That would be dandy and nifty and all kinds of other faux perkiness, except that it suits neither me or Botany really, since other than having the benefit of the pain relief my daughter is apt to be more than a little upset at my leaving her again (or at least until her urge to solve the Riemannn zeros hypothesis kicks in).
Add to all this that I myself am feeling a bit fragile having only just recovering from a particular disgusting cold (the superphlegm of which actually rendered me unable to speak for an entire day at one point) and E. is out of the country for a week, so no help with childcare- and you know, just generally February in Scotland. Bleeeechh.